Alberto Fernandez

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Alberto Fernandez used to be the Director of the Office of Press and Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of Near East Affairs (NEA). In that role, Fernandez was "a frequent participant on Arab media commenting in Arabic on a wide range of US foreign policy issues." [1]

In October 2006, he told the Arabic news channel Al Jazeera that "We tried to do our best [in Iraq], but I think there is much room for criticism, because, undoubtedly, there was arrogance and there was stupidity from the United States in Iraq." [2] Fernandez quickly apologized and retracted those remarks, saying he had "seriously misspoken," and that what he said did not represent the views of the State Department. [3]

In May 2007, Al Kamen wrote in the Washington Post that, at the time, Fernandez' boss, Karen P. Hughes, "defended him against the usual calls for discipline. Now he's going to be chief of mission to Sudan. We know what you're thinking, but State folks swear this is not a punishment. ... He was in competition with former deputy spokesman Adam Ereli for the top job at the embassy on the island of Bahrain, but Ereli got that one. Look, we're not buying this, but that's what they said." [4]

Positions Held

According to his bio on the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy website: [5]

  • Director for Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of Near East Affairs' (NEA) Office of Iraq Affairs, July 2004 - May 2005
  • Public Affairs Officer in Damascus, Syria (1993-96); Guatemala City, Guatemala (1996-99); Amman, Jordan (1999-2002); and Kabul, Afghanistan (2002-2003)
  • Country Affairs Officer for Egypt, Yemen and Sudan in the United States Information Agency/NEA Area Office, 1990 - ?
  • Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, 1988 - 1990
  • Press Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua, 1986 - 1988
  • For the United States Information Agency, Junior Officer in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 1983 - ?

Personal and Military Background

Fernandez "was born in Havana, Cuba in 1958 and arrived in the United States as a refugee in 1959. He served in the US Army and Reserves from 1976 to 1981. A graduate of the U.S. Army Intelligence School at Ft. Huachuca, he studied Arabic at the Defense Language Institute-Foreign Language Center from 1976 to 1977. From 1977 to 1979, he served in the 519th Military Intelligence Batallion/18th Military Intelligence Group/18th Airborne Corps in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. ... He is fluent in both Arabic (4/3+) and Spanish (5/5) and is an active member of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), presenting papers at annual conferences (1997, 2001)." [6]

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